December 14, 2017

Third Floor

Zhabdrung Gallery, Numismati, Clothing and Jewelry Collection ( 3rd Floor )

On the third floor is the collection of coins, historic jewelry, and traditional costumes. On this floor the visitor can see the initiation of currency in Bhutan which began with small coins. The floor also features the evolution of traditional dress for both men and women from the 16th century to the present.

The women’s costume involves several pieces. The kira or dress wraps around the body and is fastened at the shoulder by two brooches, and tied at the waist by a colorful belt. Many beautiful examples of silver brooches with gold plating are on display in the gallery. Under the kira women wear an inner blouse. The outfit is topped by a short jacket. For formal occasions such as festivals or visits to dzongs, women will complement their outfit with a sash (locally known as rachu) over their left shoulder. Women’s clothing is usually made of silk or cotton and various colorful patterns can be combined together.

The men’s costume is called a gho. It is a long robe that is hoisted to the waist and fastened by a cloth belt. Ghos are made of cotton or wool and during colder months, can be layered to add warmth. Alongside the men’s ghos are dance costumes from the West and Central regions of Bhutan. There is also an example of leather pants and a yak wool cape.

In this gallery visitors can also see a display of amulets and amulet cases in silver and copper with turquoise and gold inlay. Some of the jewelry served a dual purpose, for example, for pinning cloaks together and as a weapon when under attack.